Entertainment

The 25th annual Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas will be bigger and better than ever when the festivities kick off on Thursday, Feb. 23, and last through the weekend ending Sunday, Feb. 26. All the festivities take place in downtown Port Arthur.

There’s plenty of food with more than 40 vendors, which include pork kabobs, corn dogs, pizza, funnel cakes, burgers, anything on a stick and of course plenty of pistolettes.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Thursday and the first parade will be the Lamar State College Port Arthur Parade that starts at the Carl Parker Center. 

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year — for me, anyway. Not the Christmas holidays, but the annual Oscar ceremony coming up this Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC beginning at 6 p.m. Year after year, I hang in there through the bloated three-hour-plus running time filled with superfluous silliness while celebrities in their designer gowns and tuxedos suck up to one another as the precious gold statuettes are doled out.

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The Junior League of Beaumont is set to host its newest fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars, on Thursday, March 2. Come dressed in your best cocktail attire for a night of dinner and dancing. Guests will be entertained by Southeast Texas celebrities as they perform dances choreographed by the premier dance studios in the area.

Tickets are available for cocktails and the show ($25) or for a sit-down dinner starting at $100. They can be purchased online at juniorleaguebeaumont.org. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. and the show follows at 7 p.m.

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National touring country singer Sara Evans is scheduled to perform at the Grand Events Center inside the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles on Friday, Feb. 24, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets for this 21-and-older show are $40-$65 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com. From Missouri, this 46-year-old CMA winner released her first hit in 1999 with “No Place That Far,” then followed that up with her first No.

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Eight-time Grammy Award winning Gospel singer Kirk Franklin will perform at the Beaumont Civic Center on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30-$50 and can be purchased at the Civic Center box office or online at ticketmaster.com. From Fort Worth, Franklin has released eight solo albums with his latest, Losing My Religion, which just won a Grammy for Best Gospel Album. No. 1 songs include “Looking for You,” “Declaration,” “I Smile,” “Wanna Be Happy” and “123 Victory.” Also performing is James Fortune & FIYA.

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